#1
Just bought an rg350dx for $120.00, but the frets are toast. Looking at putting in stainless steel. Any difference in tone compared to the usual brass?
#2
Regular frets aren't brass, but there's little if any difference in sound going to steel. I wouldn't worry about it.

Might not be worth the cost on a cheap guitar though, a stainless refret is going to be several hundred dollars.
#3
When you buy a guitar, particularly a cheap one, fret wear should be one of the first things you look at. Most likely the previous owner priced a fret job and decided that it would be smarter to sell it and buy something newer.
#4
oh i'm jealous i sold two of them this year for like 250-300$ , without even trying i could make that 120$ back.

With stainless steel frets the biggest pro is that you'll have apparently 20 years of life out of them with regular use. But I can only imagine that you're gonna break a lot more strings from the frets being harder than the strings. Ernie Ball M-steel , Dunlop Heavycore or GHS thick core strings come in handy if it's the case.

honestly though the only way we would know for certain the difference in regards to tone is if you played the guitar to death and then switched. I know Eddie Van Halen said he can't tell the difference.. but then you get purists who think the only quality instruments were made in the 50s and everything else is "snake oil"... if you don't do your own fretting it is more expensive for a tech to have it done too. But it's an investment, You'll probably never have to re-do it , but from a re-sale perspective it's about as looked upon as the oxidization level of the screws. So at the end of the day if the guitars a keeper you wont sell for the foreseeable future go for it, if not you can always flip if if you know how to fret a guitar.

fret wire brand wise Jescar is the brand I used for stainless steel fretting. LMII.com had some alternatives too.
#5
I'll be doing it myself. I have massive woodworking & electronics skills. Besides there's only one known luthier in this area, so he can charge an arm, a leg & a left nut.
#6
In that case, go for it. You really don't need massive woodworking skills and electronics skills are useless. A few small skills to get the frets level and crowned will do you. I'd suggest that you glue the frets in rather than just pressing them in (eliminates flyer frets and "dead" frets).

I've got several guitars with stainless frets; whatever differences in sound there are that can be ascribed to materials are absolutely minimal. You're not going to break any more strings from the frets being harder (I've yet to break a string on one of the stainless fret guitars, honestly). You may want to make sure that whatever tools (files, etc.) you buy were done with stainless frets in mind; you can dull them more rapidly than with standard frets.

Stainless frets will last longer than standard frets, but they don't last forever (unless you don't use the guitar). There seems to be a misconception about how long they WILL last, but they do last longer than standard.
#7
you need a special set of tools for SS work. they will break all your other tools.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#8
Quote by AcousticMirror
you need a special set of tools for SS work. they will break all your other tools.


yeah this .... they are hard as hell
#9
SS is softer than the typical nickel/steel frets, not harder. But SS is much harder on tools because of this
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#10
Softer? Not according to Jescar or the Mohs scale. Can you explain why you say that?
#12
I already have the heavy duty tools I need for this. I'll be doing the same to a 270. Only that one is getting a complete overhaul: trek, pups,pots,shielding. The frets on the 350 are playable, just impossible to intimate because some frets are really worn & some aren't, especially the 12th. Looks kinda like someone tried to dress them & got carried away.
#14
Quote by Roc8995
Softer? Not according to Jescar or the Mohs scale. Can you explain why you say that?

I use SS fasteners and it is a structurally softer material than regular steel. it does dull saw-blades much faster than galvanized steel though so that is the property they want by using it for frets.

I was thinking SS was softer than brass (which the TS first listed) not nickle, but I guess I was wrong in what I read.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#15
No I mistakenly said brass when I posted this originally, as I was worn out from work & couldn't think clearly.
#16
Hey Stig, pretty cool readup on SS frets. Thanks for the share!
Quote by Invader Jim
The questions people ask here makes me wonder how the TS's dress themselves in the morning and can shower without drowning...
#17
let's work on some myths shall we?

-"normal" frets are not brass. frets on the most bottom end of the cheapest of cheap guitars are brass. these are novelty guitars that sell for about $25 bucks. the color of brass is golden yellow (clean) to dirty brown (tarnished).

-there are no luthier specific tools devoted entirely to stainless steel. these are the same tools that can be used on all frets. except for diamond coated tools, you will just be using more of them.

-you don't need woodworking skills or electronics skills to deal with frets. you need metal working skills.

-nickel silver is not harder then stainless steel unless it is heat treated. if it were heat treated, it would not make a very malleable fret and as such would be useless on a guitar. but then some stainless steel alloys can be heat treated making them far harder then nickel silver in the first place.

-the mohs scale is used on minerals. stainless steel is a metal and thus the brinell, vickers, or rockwell b/c scales apply.

-stainless steel is considered "harder" to work with because not only is it actually harder averaging around 95~105 rhb vs. 85 rhb for 18% nickel silver in a full annealed state, but the addition of between 10%~28% chromium, (depending upon the alloy) kicks up the abrasion factor to a new level. in short -it dulls tools faster then nickel silver or evo.

listen to the man at avh.
Last edited by ad_works at Jul 6, 2015,